Teachers’ Beliefs in the Context of Paternalistic Leadership and Educational Disadvantages in the Time of School Closures (73956)

Session Information: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Session Chair: A. Michael Riskus

Saturday, 25 November 2023 10:25
Session: Session 1
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

When the pandemic forced school closures across the world, teachers were morally required to be at the front-line to cope with the unprecedented crisis. The challenges perceived by teachers differed across schools. This study specifically investigated teachers’ beliefs of teaching and learning during the pandemic in a context of a school in China that caters for socio-economically disadvantaged student population. The response to school closures was designed by the gatekeepers in the selected research site, which can be an example of paternalistic leadership. It meant teachers from each school just followed to apply relevant policies into practice. The exploration of teacher belief involved semi-structured interviews on their perceptions of challenges and their corresponding actions. This study found that teachers were largely constrained by paternalistic leadership and students’ family background, rather than by the immediate challenges emergent from school closures and online teaching. When participants found it impossible to break from structural constraints, they turned to emphasize three aspects: 1) Accountability in terms of students’ learning outcomes; 2) Mian Zi (Face) in terms of leaving others a good impression when the teaching was online; 3) Wu Wei (Do Nothing) aiming to pursue “an in-between road, rather than doing something too good or something too bad” (Xing & Sims, 2012, p. 100). Therefore, this paper raises an urgent call to work on teachers’ beliefs by removing certain structural barriers to the most extent, which is a key step to empower teachers or emancipate them from constraints, especially mentally.

Suqiong Zheng, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Suqiong Zheng is a University Doctoral Student at University of Edinburgh in United Kingdom

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00